Spicy Chicken Wrap

From Baking Without Borders by Sarah Henry | Illustrations by Margo Rivera-Weiss

The filling for Reem Assil’s Middle Eastern flatbread pays homage to traditional Palestinian cooking (roast chicken and sumac) with a nod to the Golden State (hello arugula). It’s a flavor-filled cross-cultural wrap. Pair with your preferred hot sauce, as desired.

Makes 4

1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
Kosher salt (use 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton brand)
3¼ cups bread flour, plus more for surface
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for bowl

Chicken and assembly
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 4)
1 tablespoon ground sumac (find at Middle Eastern markets and specialty foods stores)
Kosher salt (use 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton brand)
¼ teaspoon bahārāt*
Bread flour (for dusting)
1 cup trimmed arugula
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

To make dough

Whisk together the sugar, yeast, and ½ cup warm water (105°–110°) in a medium-size bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let sit until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together salt and 3¼ cups flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and ¾ cup warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon from the center out to gradually incorporate dry ingredients until you have a rough, shaggy dough.

Turn out onto a flour-dusted work surface and knead lightly to bring together into a single mass. Continue kneading, adding flour as needed if sticky, until dough is smooth, supple, firm, and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1¼–1¾ hours.

To prepare chicken and assemble dish

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until onion is very soft and deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 300°. Toss onion, chicken thighs, sumac, salt, bahārāt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large bowl until chicken is well coated. Transfer to an 8- x 8-inch baking dish and arrange chicken in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake until chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool.

Place a rack in lower third of oven and set a pizza stone or upside-down rimmed baking sheet on rack. (Use two sheets side by side if you can fit them.) Preheat oven to 500° or highest setting.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 pieces. Form into smooth balls, dust lightly with flour, and cover. Let sit until relaxed, 10 to 15 minutes.

Working with one piece at a time, roll balls into ¼-inch-thick rounds and flour both sides. Stack rounds, separating with plastic wrap, as you go. Transfer a round to a generously floured pizza peel or an upside-down baking sheet (not the one that’s in the oven) and carefully slide dough onto pizza stone. Bake until flatbread is puffed in spots and edges are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes, depending on oven temperature. Transfer man’oushe to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Repeat with remaining rounds of dough.

Pull cooled chicken meat into large bite-size pieces and divide among flatbreads. Top with arugula and pomegranate seeds and drizzle with more olive oil.

*Literally “spice” in Arabic, bahārāt is a mix that typically contains allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cassia, cloves, nutmeg, and dried red chili peppers. Find it at Middle Eastern markets and specialty foods stores.

Assil and her kitchen crew make the flatbread in the traditional manner: The slow-leavened dough is stretched over a hard canvas-covered cushion (see illustration below) before it’s placed onto a saj (a domed, concave griddle) where it puffs slightly and gets crispy around the edges.